Will Lenny Be There?
Dedan-Jah Jonker

It took Ian less than two minutes to shed off my company as nonchalantly as he had his coat.

'I'll see you in a bit', he said, handing me a beer before vanishing up the stairs.

There are five people scattered around the barely lit living room, each of them sitting alone and occupying roughly the same amount of space. Whereas Ian disposed of my presence, here it isn't even present enough to be noted by anyone. No-one is talking. Everyone seems more or less engrossed by the Lenny Bruce record that's spinning it's 33 and a third a minute accompanied by atmospheric post-rock on the cd-player.

This isn't what I expected when Ian invited me to come along to a party.

I park myself in an enormous beanbag, immediately understanding why it wasn't taken. It doesn't do anything beanbag, but has decided to retain it's shape whether anyone is sitting in it or not. I try to punch it into some sort of submission and lean back.

The hypnotic combination of vintage political stand-up comedy and what I think is Mogwai doesn't seem to be the only reason for the less than party atmosphere; if the smell in the room and the actions of the man kneeling by the coffee-table are anything to go by.

With his right-hand he's heating up a small block of hash lying on the glass top, while his left-hand is scratching his moustache in sync with the lead-guitar. When all the hash has gone mushy, he moves his right arm back like a crane in a harbour and opens his fist, dropping the lighter on the floor.

Ceasing his slightly robotic movements he starts crumbling the dark, thick goo. He does this hastily, with fingers fast and supple like those of a weathered typist, as the potent mud will probably harden within a minute or so.

Satisfied with the crumbled result, he allows himself a stretch to give his back some relief from arching over the table. He shifts his legs outwards a bit, and immediately back to their original position. A cringe of pain or unease washes over his face simultaneously.

Concentrated brows now, as he mixes the contents of a disembowelled cigarette with the small pellets of hash. He picks up a rolling paper from the small mount in front of him, inspects it, and goes on to roll an unfiltered joint with just his right-hand. The other one has gone back to scratching his moustache. He holds the spliff perfectly still as he moves his head along to lick it shut.

Ten minutes later I exhale into the glowing end of the joint passed on to me.

Lenny Bruce rocks.

First published: May, 2004
comments to the writer: Knob'sWriter@iceflow.com